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Airlines should be more down to earth

29 November 2005

Airlines should be more down to earth

Air New Zealand and Qantas are wrong to ban men from sitting alongside unaccompanied children on their planes, Green Party Human Rights Spokesperson Keith Locke says.

"The airlines should be more down to earth and recognise that men are people too.

"This is clearly a breach of the Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.

"I will be writing to the Human Rights Commission asking them to intervene to bring the two airlines to their senses.

"The moral panic about men being a potential threat to children has already had negative effects, particularly in childcare and in pre-school education, where men are now grossly under-represented in the workforce. It is prejudicial to presume that men can't be trusted to have contact with children unless there are related to them or are specially trained.

"The ban runs against some of the progress we have made, with men now playing a greater role in rearing their children and engaging in play-centre and school activities. Househusbands are much more common now than they were.

"I'm glad National's 'PC Eradicator' Wayne Mapp has also opposed this ban, but he is wrong to call it 'political correctness'. The anti-PC brigade usually criticise what they see as an overemphasis on equal rights, including between the genders. The Greens are sometimes the target of their attacks, so I'm glad to see them supporting equal rights in this case," Mr Locke says.

ENDS

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